Food for Thought

Now that the turkey has been stored away, some of us may have some ham we are thinking of using for a meal. Might I suggest Scalloped potatoes and ham? It is fairly simple and doesn’t take much time to make. You start by spraying a glass 9 x 13 inch pan. In an 8 cup measuring cup pour in 4 cups milk, powdered garlic, onion (unless you want to use a fresh onion), a fairly good size piece of cheddar cheese, I prefer marble, cut in 4 pieces, dry dill and pepper. Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

Peel and slice potatoes, you decide it depends on how many people are sitting down for your meal. Rule of thumb is potatoes are cheaper than meat, so up to you. Slice ham in fairly thin slices. Now to put it together. Take hot milk and cheese from mircrowave, mix 1/2 cup cornstarch in a separate measuring cup with 1 and 1/2 cup water, stir and add to milk mixture stir well, replace to microwave for 2 minutes.

Now to assemble, pour 1/4 of milk mixture in bottom of pan, layer potatoes evenly, then slices of ham, (incidentally this is a good place to hide frozen corn) more milk mixture. The last layer is potatoes and rest of the milk mixture. You want the potatoes covered you don’t want them hard and dry on top. Roast at 400 degrees in oven for around 45 minutes. If you have any questions or comments you can contact me at Enjoy! Cynthia

With the price of groceries on the rise I think some cooks tend to shy away from leaner cuts of beef and pork and opt for hamburger, which incidentally I find quite high in price. Well fear not their is an easy way to stretch your budget. If you have a roaster and an oven your set.

I prefer to use frozen meat, a round beef roast or what ever catches my eye on sale. Pork roast is an even better price choice some of the time. With all the wrapping off, place the roast in a roasting pan that comes with a lid. Add two inches of water to the bottom, the best salad dressing for this is Italian straight from the fridge. Notice how it has garlic, oil and vinegar. Shake well and liberally pour over the top of the roast. Any type of dry onion soup mix works best, pour directly on the salad dressing. Cover with the lid and place in oven, roast at 350degrees F. This is not for quick cooking. Check after an hour if you find the roast looking dry you can pour water over, the top which will spread some of the delicious onion flavor and create a nice base for what ever you decide to do next.

Here are some other choices: When the roast is done to your specifications, you can remove and make a rich gravy to pour over mashed potatoes, or save it and use for broth for beef barley soup. This trick is my my all time favorite though, an hour or so before the roast is tender clean carrots, potatoes, any nice root vegatable, maybe along with garlic, and onion. I can smell it from here, and now my mouth is watering,,,,,,,, oops! Sorry I was just thinking……. ha ha!

I also have a recipe that must be added as it is a fast and easy recipe that is definitely enjoyed by everyone. It is a biscuit recipe that has many uses from a side for salad, soup or something just to nibble on as it freezes well. I have adapted this recipe so many times. There are times when I have a 1/2 block of hard cheese left in the fridge so before it starts to go bad I will times the recipe by four. Either way it still only takes an hour.

Butter Biscuits Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl place 2 cups flour, 2 tsps. baking powder (optional 1 tsp. dry chives. 1 tsp. dry dill weed. 1 tsp garlic powder) stir. Grate on top 1/2 cup chilled butter, 1/2 cup hard cheese, your choice. Mix by hand add 3/4 cup milk, don’t over mix. Place in between parchment paper roll out dough anyway you like, cut and place on cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes only. Enjoy!

The Sought After Grandma Boechler’s Chocolate Pudding!                                 

5 cups milk, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 cup cocoa  Heat these ingredients in a large bowl in microwave, 4 or 5 minutes on high power. (Bowl has to be big enough so nothing boils over!) Stir with wisk to make sure the sugar & cocoa is dissolved. Return to microwave for 3 minutes until hot. Mix  3/4 cup cornstarch, completely with 1/2 cup milk. When mixed add to hot chocolate mixture completely with wisk return to oven. Cook for two minutes. Stir with whisk and spatula so there isn’t anything left aroundN the inside or bottom of the bowl you want it nice and smooth. Carefully divide 4 eggs, (keeping yolks and whites seperate) mix yolks in bowl with a fork and add to pudding. Return to oven for 2 minute intervals until mixture thickens. Let cool for a few minutes add 2 teaspoons vanilla and 2 tbsp. butter. By the way grandma always saved the egg whites in a covered jar in the fridge for making buns or for merengie on the top of a pie…………Good Luck Stacy Love Me

Rice Krispie Cake (My microwave version) In large bowl almost melt 1/2 cup margarine (covered) on power 3 for 45 seconds, remove bowl count out 60 large marshmallows into bowl, toss with egg turner to coat. Return to oven for 3 minutes. While marshmallows are cooking, place parchment paper in largest cookie sheet available. Remove bowl from oven, stir with fork until all blended and mixture is clear. Add 1 tsp. vanilla. Measure 10 cups rice krispies into bowl and mix together with egg turner until all coated. Turn onto cookie sheet.Wet hands and arms to the elbows with water, this is better and easier than marg. to keep mixture from sticking to anything.  Enjoy!

No Fail Pie Crust Recipe (I got this from my mother-in-law 37 years ago.)  Mix: 5 cups flour, 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. baking powder.  Beat 1 egg in measuring cup with fork add 2 tbsp. vinegar, fill cup with ice cold ice water. Mix gently together. When ready to roll for pies you might need to add a bit more water or flour depending on humidity. Always keep idle pie crust in fridge while working.

Cory’s Brownie Recipe I’m really not sure whose brownie recipe this is, however Cory perfected it during the summer. Please note this is a very large recipe as the season for get togethers is fast approaching. It ends up beings so pretty with icing sugar, and when cut in squares and placed on a coffee filter in the centre of a paper plate it is just the thing to take from the freezer to a friends party at the last minute.

Line a very large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350. Measure 2 cups flour, 1 1/3 unsweetened cocoa, 1 tsp. baking powder, and tsp. salt set aside. Melt 2 cups butter in microwave, mix together with 4 cups white sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla, gradually add 8 eggs. If you are using a mixer, remove beaters and switch to dough hooks, add flour mixture on low (you don’t want to have to clean the kitchen.) Pour into pan, bake for 30 minutes until brownies pull away from parchment paper. Allow to cool thoroughly before dusting with icing sugar.

Impossible Coconut Pie

4 eggs, 1/2 cup margarine, 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup coconut , 1 cup sugar, 2 cups milk, 2 tsps. vanilla  Put all the ingredients in the blender for 1 minute. Pour into an ungreased 10″ pie pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until brown and firm in center.

I forgot to mention that even though I like to bake, sometimes I don’t want to do it all day.   The easy thing with this recipe is you can put it in the oven when making a roast, etc. they are both ready at the same time!

                              Enjoy!                  Love Me

Lazy Torte Cake – (I have a special Angel to thank for this one).

8 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour

Separate eggs, beat whites and yolks separately. Beat really well. Add beaten yolks to beaten egg whites in a large bowl.

Gradually beat in sugar, then gradually beat in flour. Pour into large cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

While cake is baking, place clean towel on counter, sprinkle with icing sugar, (you’ll thank me for this later). When baked, place cake upside down on large towel.

Gently peel back paper. Now this is the tricky part, using towel, flip cake over again.

When cake feels cool, spread with icing.  Roll as for jelly roll.

If you can’t find a good hiding place it keeps well in the freezer! Also if you have a good hormone surge you can make quite a few in an evening…..!

Torte Cake Icing

3/4 cups  cocoa,  2 cups Crisco vegtable shortening,   2 cups sugar,     6 eggs. In 1/2 cup measuring cup, add 1 tbsp. vanilla, fill to top with hot coffee, or hot water.

Beat Crisco until light and fluffy, add sugar, slow mixer down, add cocoa. Add one egg at a time beating well after each addition. Slowly add hot mixture and continue beating until sugar is dissolved and mixture is light and fluffy. Keep icing in fridge as it tends to get too soft if left out for any length of time. This can be divided in half as it will ice more than one cake.

Carmel Corn

Spread in bottom of roaster: 1 cup peanuts or pecans, 1 cup slivered almonds, 1 cup sesame seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring often. Air pop popcorn. Melt: 1/2 cup margarine, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add 1 tsp. vanilla. Drizzle over popcorn, nuts and seeds in roaster stir, coating everything well. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, stirring often. Spread on waxed paper to cool. The amount of sugar and margarine depends on the size of the roaster……………..and the size of your sweet tooth!

 A Small Thought!

They say that food is something we have to take in to nourish our bodies, but I like to think that if it is prepared with love it gives a little bit of warmth to the soul as well. Anyone that has had the good fortune to taste one of my Mom’s buns knows just what I mean!   For all the people that have asked, here is the recipe for Mom’s Buns, I sure hope it wasn’t supposed to be a Family Secret!

Mom’s Buns

6 cups water,  6 eggs, 1 cup oil, 2 cups sugar, 2 tbsp. salt, 3 tbsp. yeast, about 21 cups flour. Mix together, let rise until double in size. Punch down, let rise again until double. Make into nice size balls, place on greased cookie sheet. (She presses each bun down.) Let buns rise until spread out and touching each other. Bake at 325 degrees, for 20 minutes or until brown. This is a very large recipe. Mom says the only secret to making nice buns is “Everything has to be warm.” Good Luck!

Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs

1/2 cup vinegar + 1/2 cup ketchup, 3/4 cup tomato juice or (1/4 cup ketchup and water to equal 3/4 of a cup), 1/3 cup water, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 medium onion chopped + salt + pepper. 1 cup water mixed with 2 tbsp. cornstarch.

Precook ribs, onion, salt + pepper at 300 degrees for 1-2 hours, until cooked and nice and brown. Drain off grease and add sauce. Finish cooking in oven, stiring occasionally until sauce is thickened and the house smells great. If the sauce seems to be getting too thick add a bit more tomato juice or water, mix well

Rice & Barley

1 pkg. dry onion soup mix, 4 cups water, 1 cup rice, 1/2 cup pearl barley, 1/4 cup soya sauce, 1 can whole mushrooms & juice optional, 1 tbsp. canola oil. Put all ingredients in small roaster or oven ware bowl. Bake in oven at the same time as ribs. Stir after 1/2 hour.

When I was going through the recipes I make most often, I noticed they are always titled Easy & Lazy I’m not sure that says much for my character!

Easy French Toast

1 loaf french bread, or rye bread cut into 1/2 inch slices, 6 eggs, 3 cups milk, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, pinch of salt.

Buttering both sides of bread arrange slices to cover the bottom of 13″ x 9″ pan in a single layer. Layer remaining bread, over bottom layer, standing them at an angle. Whip with fork, eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Pour over bread in pan. Cover pan and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. When you get up in the morning preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove cover from pan and place in oven for 30 minutes or until brown. Start the coffee and by the time you get out of the shower, Sunday brunch is ready! It’s a nice start to a lazy day!

This is another one of my favorites. I decided I better give a recipe for a main course or you will think that’s all I make is sweets!

Lazy Perogie Casserole

15 lasagna noodles, 2 cups cottage cheese, 1 egg, 1/4 tsp. onion salt, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 2 cups mashed potatoes, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. onion salt, dash of pepper, 1 cup butter, 1 cup onions.

Line casserole dish with cooked lasagna noodles. Mix cottage cheese, egg, 1/4 tsp. onion salt, spread over noodles. Place another layer of noodles. Mix mashed potatoes, salt, onion salt, pepper and shredded cheese, spread over noodles. Spread another layer of noodles over potatoes. Melt butter, fry onions and pour over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, let stand 10 minutes before serving….Very Good with sour cream!

Lazy Meat Roll

2 eggs, 1 tbsp. relish, 1 tbsp. ketchup, 1 pkg. dry onion soup mix, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 cup cooking oats, 2 lbs. ground beef, 6 – 8 pieces thinly sliced ham, 1 1/2 cups shredded mozza.

In a bowl combine eggs, relish, ketchup, onion soup, garlic powder, cooking oats. Add ground beef, mix well. On foil or waxed paper, pat meat into a 10×8 inch rectangle. Place ham slices on meat leaving a small margin around the edges. Reserve 1/2 cup cheese, set aside. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese over ham. Starting from short end, carefully roll up meat, using foil or paper to lift. Close edges and ends. Place roll seam side down in 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees until done, about 1 hour. (Middle of roll will appear pink due to the ham.) Sprinkle reserved 1/2 cup cheese over and return to oven until melted, about 2 minutes. If you put potatoes into the oven to bake, with the coconut pie ( recipe above),,,,,,,,,,You have a meal! Enjoy!

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